Human rights education confronting the ideology of hate

Received by e-mail, From: Abraham Magendzo K., Date: 03/08/2011.

Dear Colleagues, What happened in Norway calls us to continue and deepen our work and commitment to human rights education.

What has happened is in large part the result of the installation of a doctrine of hatred that has a long history, which is present in many continents and countries and is fed by intolerance, discrimination, prejudices and stereotypes, the inability to recognize and live with diversity in all its manifestations and do not wish to accept and be responsible for the Other /Other as a legitimate Other/Other, different but equal.  

Hate has different origins and has been studied and interpreted by a number of disciplines: philosophy, psychology, psychoanalysis, anthropology, sociology, jurisprudence and so on. It has been linked to racist xenophobic, homophobic, clasism, anti-Semitism and other hetero- phobia ideologies and movements. This last category is located Hate towards certain religious groups, immigrants, indigenous cultures, poor, urban tribes, disabled people, etc.

Hate has a multitude of ways to spread and proliferate through, for example family, mass media, music, humor, arts, and literature and now ultimately installed extensively on the Internet. Hate organizes and creates social and ideological spaces, establishing distinctiveness groups that not only spread hatred and recruit members, but also acts in violent and criminal behaviors. History knows of mass hate crimes like the Holocaust and what has happened in the former Yugoslavia, genocide in Rwanda, Somalia, the Armenian genocide to name a few. Likewise, many hate crimes that do not acquire the proportions of mass murder but which are equally horrific and terrifying as the case of Norway.

Human Rights Education has an unavoidable responsibility of educating the “anti-hate” (Elie Wiesel sees hatred as opposed to love), since hate is, from one hand, a severe and manifested expression of the violation of human rights and, on the other, that intolerance, discrimination, prejudices, stereotypes and violence all integral components of hate that should be addressed by human rights education.

Indeed, the ultimate aim of human rights education, in its ethical-political dimension, is to create awareness among students that hate in all its forms and expressions, is amoral and violets human rights. It is amoral, since uses violence, fear, terror, intimidation, exclusion, and dominance. Hiding- sometimes covertly and other openly- its desire for control, power and superiority. It is amoral also because it calls on many occasions, to joint and participate in hate groups, children and youth who are in the process of establishing their identities and do not always have the tools to discern the true and ultimate intentions involving the hate groups.

Hate not only violates human rights for its intolerance and discrimination but because it violates the most basic normative human rights instruments that the international community has formulated and convene to keep peace, harmony and humanity between people.

Human rights education, should deliver legal knowledge, attitudes and values so that the students are taught from a young age, to cope and not to accept declared and covert hate speech and acts and to be vigilant and report any group that build its distinctiveness around an ideology of hate, But also, human rights education in its pedagogical process should be treat, without restraint and without evasive, in a frontal and direct manner, the “subject of hate” as an attack and a violation of human rights. In other words, human rights education as an integral part of its ethical and political mandate and task needs to develop an “anti-hate pedagogy” that consult the analysis of cases and situations and promote discussion of articles, photos, films, newsletters, pamphlets, material of recruitment or brochures of organizations that put up hatred and promote an ideology based on hatred, in order to understand its origins, motivations, and above all, study their disastrous consequences as we have seen with horror in the Norwegian case.

Abraham Magendzo K., Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights Education, Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano /(see also on es.wikipedia), Chile, July 2010.

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